Almost a third of patients at London A & It had waiting times of more than four hours in the past month, according to new NHS figures. The employees were pushed “beyond the breaking point” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 44,000 patients at Type 1 A & Es, the department that deals with the most serious emergencies, had to wait more than four hours to be admitted, discharged, or transferred to another department in January 2021.
The NHS typically expects 95 percent of A&E patients to be treated within four hours of their arrival, while London A&E sees only 68 percent in that time last month.
Dr. Onkar Sahota, the London health spokesman for Labor, said the numbers were “a cause for concern” but highlighted the “strong pressure our hospitals have been under due to the recent wave of Covid-19 cases”.
Dr. Sahota said: “The NHS staff have been pushed outside the box, but their tireless efforts to fight this terrible virus have been downright heroic.
“However, these statistics are still a cause for concern. Even before the pandemic, hospital trusts across the capital routinely failed to meet the NHS waiting time targets.
“This is symptomatic of the government’s failure over the past decade to properly invest in our hospitals and to reduce rising employee vacancy rates. When the pandemic broke out, our healthcare system stayed on its back. Ministers must take the opportunity to urgently correct this in the upcoming budget. ”
In January 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic began, only a quarter of patients participating in Type 1 A&E in London had to wait more than four hours to be seen, despite more patients overall having A & E attended.
Around 61,000 of a total of 240,000 patients had to wait more than four hours in January last year, compared with 44,000 of 153,000 in January this year.
Figures from the NHS Foundation of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the NHS Trust of Imperial College Healthcare were not included in this year’s data.